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Rockwall’s EarthKind Trial Gardens a blooming success

The EarthKind Trial Gardens are located between the Rockwall County Courthouse and the Rockwall County Library.

(ROCKWALL, TX – May 29, 2015) Agents from the Texas AgriLife Extension Service brought Rockwall County Master Gardeners and city officials together May 28 at the EarthKind Trial Gardens to discuss their success in cultivating and researching new environment-friendly rose plants.

Oso Easy Paprika

Rockwall’s EarthKind Trial Gardens are located at 1111 E. Yellowjacket Lane between the Rockwall County Courthouse and the Rockwall County Library. The EarthKind program is a nationally recognized, research-based approach to environmental landscaping.

According to Dr. Steve George, the developer of the program in the early 1990s, the EarthKind program has used the research collected in the Trial Garden to fine tune the creation and cultivation of more environment-friendly landscaping plants. The program has developed roses, perennials, annuals and other types of plants that require much less water, fertilizer and pesticides than typical plants.

“I have no doubt that EarthKind is the future of landscaping in America,” George said.

Although many counties across Texas are involved with testing the program, only Rockwall has two concurrent research programs on the ground, according to George.

Popcorn Drift

The program was brought to Rockwall in 2009 as a way to enhance the area between the library and the courthouse. It was meant to connect the two in a way that was more visually appealing, according to 3rd Precinct Commissioner Dennis Bailey. The area, under a heavy drought at the time, proved a good testing ground for the program.

Roxy Sun Sprite

The Extension Office as well as George and the master gardeners said they are excited for the possibilities that the program offers, both to the community and to the science of horticulture.

Story by Abbie Killian, Blue Ribbon News. Garden photos courtesy of Rockwall County Extension Office.

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